Beginning February 22, all middle and high schools can begin to welcome students back to the classroom for hybrid or in-person learning under new guidelines. We expect all schools to offer their students some form of in-person learning by March 8.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) February 17, 2021
Students across Minnesota will soon be back to in-person learning.
Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday that starting Feb. 22, "all middle and high school students can return to the classroom for hybrid or in-person learning."
Walz expects all schools to offer some form of in-person learning by March 8.
“It’s time for students to be back in the classroom,” Governor Walz said. “We aren’t out of the woods, but our relentless progress with vaccines and Minnesotans’ vigilance has put us closer than ever to the end of this pandemic. Our progress means we can get more students safely back into classrooms. As a parent and former teacher, I know how critical this step is for the economic security, well-being, and mental health of our kids and their families.”
Minnesota has surpassed 940,000 doses administered to nearly 700,000 people.
"Nearly 25 percent of teachers and 40 percent of seniors have been vaccinated – numbers that are growing every day. The percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive is now below five percent. Hospitalizations are also steadily declining," the state's press release said.
Senator Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Walz’s announcement on middle school and high school reopenings:
“I am glad the governor is moving in the right direction, but he still is exercising too much authority over decisions that should be in the hands of local school officials. On the surface it looks like he is granting local control, but the reality is that schools can only open if they follow his requirements. That’s not how it should be at this stage of the pandemic; the governor should provide guidance only and leave the decision-making to local schools. I look forward to passing Senate File 2 tomorrow, which will return that authority to local school districts.”
Rochester Public Schools Communications Director Heather Nessler also issued the following statement after the Governor's announcement:
"Today, Minnesota’s Deputy Commissioner of Education, Heather Mueller, announced an update to the Safe Learning Plan. This plan was updated to align more closely with CDC guidance. We will be reviewing this guidance thoroughly and discussing this with our COVID-19 Advisory Team, which consists of the Superintendent, members of the School Board and Cabinet, union leadership, District COVID-19 team members, and officials from Olmsted County Public Health and Mayo Clinic. Our team will meet tomorrow afternoon."
"Our priority remains to return all of our children to school full time while keeping our staff and students safe. As guidelines evolve, we will continue to follow the science and ensure that we put our community, education professionals, and students in the best possible place during this pandemic and these historic times."
"As a reminder, the most recent School Board decisions about RPS Learning Models:"
"PreK and Elementary School: Return to in-person learning model PreK - Grade 5 on March 1"
"Middle and High School: Return to in-person learning model Grades 6 - 12 on April 5"
"We know these are challenging times, and we sincerely appreciate your support, patience, and partnership in education."